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Football: Jose Mourinho's Top Five Unorthodox Moments

Jose Mourinho has provided plenty of box-office drama during the past two decades and the Roma boss is still making headlines at the age of 60.

With more than 10 minutes remaining in Roma's final pre-season friendly against Partizani Tirana, Mourinho took off new signing Houssem Aouar despite not having any more substitutions available.

Aouar was baffled but there was reportedly some method to Mourinho's madness as he wanted to even things up after an earlier miscalculation by Partizani boss Zoran Zekic had led to the hosts having only 10 players on the pitch.

It usually pays to expect the unexpected when it comes to the Portuguese managerial maestro, whose Roma side are 11/1 To Win Outright Serie A this season, and we've taken a look back at five other unorthodox incidents from Mourinho's eventful career.

Laundry-basket tale eventually comes out in the wash

Having won the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the Champions League in 2004 with Porto, Mourinho was desperate for more European glory in his first season at Chelsea.

His competitive spirit could get the better of him and UEFA imposed a two-game touchline ban after Mourinho's post-match suggestions that Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard had influenced the referee during their tie with the Blues.

Undeterred by that punishment, the Chelsea boss apparently snuck into Stamford Bridge seven hours before kick-off against Bayern Munich in April 2005 so he could give the pre-match team talk as usual.

An exit strategy is the key to any great plan and, many years later, Mourinho confessed that he had hidden in a laundry basket before being wheeled off the premises under the noses of UEFA officials.

Flying medal caps lucky fan's title celebrations

A year after emerging from the laundry basket, Mourinho established himself as a Chelsea legend by leading the Blues to back-to-back Premier League titles.

During the celebrations after sealing the title in 2005/06, the gaffer launched his club blazer and his winners' medal into the Stamford Bridge crowd, remarking later that whoever caught the medal "is a lucky guy who goes home with a fantastic memory or goes to eBay and makes a fortune".

At the end of last season, Mourinho repeated the trick in less happy circumstances after Roma's defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League final.

Having won all five previous European finals in which he'd been involved, the Roma boss was clearly underwhelmed by his runners-up medal, chucking it to a young fan after the penalty-shootout loss.

Mourinho talks the talk at Inter

After a shock exit from Chelsea in September 2007, Mourinho's next job was manager of Inter Milan, succeeding Roberto Mancini in June 2008.

Taking on a job in a foreign country is never easy – Steve McClaren was mocked for his Dutch accent, Unai Emery was pilloried for his English pronunciation, and Marcelo Bielsa was heavily reliant on translator Andres Clavijo during his time at Leeds.

However, Mourinho, who famously worked as a translator for Barcelona manager Bobby Robson, had no such problems in his first press conference at Inter, speaking at length in Italian and claiming it had taken him only three weeks to learn the language.

He certainly communicated his ideas to Inter's players as the Nerazzurri won Serie A in his first season at the club before landing the Scudetto, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble in 2009/10.

UEFA unimpressed by Real's red-card stunt

The best managers are always thinking two or three moves ahead and Mourinho demonstrated that trait in controversial fashion during the 2010/11 Champions League group stage.

His Real Madrid team were 4-0 up against Ajax in their penultimate group game, cruising towards the knockout stage, but both Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso were just one booking away from suspension.

Seizing his opportunity, Mourinho advised the pair to pick up second yellow cards late in the Ajax game so they would be banned for the dead rubber against Auxerre instead of a more significant fixture later in the competition.

Eyebrows were raised when first Alonso and then Ramos were booked for time wasting and dismissed late on – particularly when Ramos gleefully shook the referee's hand as he left the pitch.

The red cards stood and the Real pair served their suspensions against Auxerre but UEFA were not impressed, imposing hefty fines on the club and players involved.

Special One takes pride in "unique" trophy tattoo

Some managers like to pass on credit to their players but Mourinho, who famously christened himself 'The Special One' on his arrival at Chelsea, has always relished being the centre of attention.

After winning the inaugural Europa Conference League with Roma in 2022, the veteran coach decided he should mark the achievement in style, with a tattoo on his upper arm featuring the three European trophies he has lifted: the Uefa Cup, Champions League and Conference League.

And, fittingly for such an inimitable character, Mourinho revealed the design on Instagram with a caption declaring that it was "a unique tattoo" and that "so far, I am the only one who can have it".

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